Culture, history & humanities

Explore Culture, History & Humanities Courses

Explore our extraordinary range of History, Culture and Writing courses and lectures. We offer both introductory and specialist in-depth courses to suit all levels of interest and experience, from ‘How to read a film’ and World literature, to Creative non-fiction writing courses and American history and Politics courses.

Our tutors are experts in their fields and experienced educators; many have published, teach in universities or share their expertise in the media. Tutors share their knowledge and passion through presentations, readings, interactive discussion and exercises, analysis, and other activities.

Many students return to take more courses, telling us they enjoy being part of our City Lit Learning community.

Our popular courses often sell out quickly, so we invite you to browse and book your place now.

Courses available both in-person and online

We offer a range of long and short courses allowing you to choose between in-person and online learning.

Learn in the centre of London with our in-person courses. Our purpose-built facilities in Covent Garden mean we are ideally located and easy to get to. 

See our guide to online learning for more information about accessing our live online courses.

All our courses are live, interactive, and taught by expert tutors. No matter how you prefer to learn, we've got the class for you.

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  1. The men who built London
    Course start date:  Thu 12 Sep 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Eleanor Jackson
    London was shaped by its architects, engineers, bricklayers, navies etc. Our lecture and walks examine London’s buildings and the men (and women) who worked throughout history to create this eclectic and wonderful city.



    London guide: Eleanor Jackson



    First lecture will be delivered via zoom followed by 8 guided walks.
    Full fee £199.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £129.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  2. City of words: London's literary landscape
    Course start date:  Thu 12 Sep 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Eleanor Jackson
    London has been muse, magnet and mecca to writers for 400 years, home to Shakespeare's successes, Dickens' dramas and Wilde's witticisms. After an introductory lecture (via zoom) we walk a different London neighbourhood each week exploring its literary connections. Initial lecture is on zoom . This is followed by 7 guided walks.
    Full fee £199.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £129.00
    Rating:
    98% of 100
  3. Everyday Life in the Middle Ages 1200-1600
    Course start date:  Fri 20 Sep 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Vanessa King
    We look at the history of everyday objects such as forks and spectacles and pastimes including playing cards, and swimming.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £169.00 Concession £110.00
  4. It Can't Happen Here: Sinclair Lewis, Philip Roth, Muriel Spark
    Course start date:  Tue 24 Sep 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Alexander Fairbairn-Dixon
    Explore three ground-breaking works of ‘speculative’ prose fiction, each offering a highly innovative examination of C20 American political populism. From bitter satire, unnerving dystopia, to the lightly comic, we’ll see how the texts embody genuine anxieties of authoritarianism in America. Surely,- ‘it can’t happen here’?
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £135.00 Concession £110.00
  5. The many sides of London's West End
    Course start date:  Tue 24 Sep 2024

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Richard Watkins
    A course of walking tours of London’s West End showing its development from the seventeenth century, how its profile has ebbed and flowed, looking at it through specific themes.



    First meeting place: Covent Garden tube, outside exit on James Street.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £135.00 Concession £110.00
  6. Shakespeare: King Lear and The Tempest
    Course start date:  Wed 25 Sep 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sophie Oxenham
    Join us to explore two of Shakespeare’s greatest plays, his tragedy King Lear, and his late ‘romance’, The Tempest. We’ll consider the connections – and differences - between these works, thinking about Shakespeare’s use of genre and language, the historical contexts, changing critical perspectives, and aspects of the plays in performance.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £135.00 Concession £110.00
  7. Reading Shakespeare: a director's perspective - Romeo and Juliet and the Taming of the Shrew
    Course start date:  Wed 25 Sep 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Laura Baggaley
    Take a fresh look at Shakespeare, exploring selected plays in the company of an experienced theatre director. With performance in mind, we will examine the language and themes of two plays and discuss the extraordinary variety to be found within Shakespeare’s work.
    Full fee £199.00 Senior fee £199.00 Concession £129.00
  8. Nineteenth Century American Literary Classics
    Course start date:  Fri 27 Sep 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Richard Niland
    This class explores the wonderful world of 19th century American literature, reading classic texts to broaden knowledge of literary history through a range of influential novels, stories, and poems. Among the writers considered in their literary, political, and cultural contexts will be Frederick Douglass, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Herman Melville, and Mark Twain.
    Full fee £199.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £129.00
  9. Romanesque art, culture and society
    Course start date:  Thu 3 Oct 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Andreas Petzold
    The Romanesque is the first international style since antiquity, and one of the most inventive and creative periods in the history of art. The course takes a thematic approach to this fascinating period and provides an introduction to the main themes and works of art and architecture from this period; it is based on the tutor's book 'Romanesque Art.'.
    Full fee £199.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £129.00
  10. Textiles: an international history
    Course start date:  Thu 3 Oct 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Elizabeth Eyres
    As well as expressing power, prestige and fulfilling symbolic functions, textiles have been intimately linked to the everyday lives of members all societies for millennia. On this course you will study the development of woven, printed and embroidered textiles of many kinds from around the globe and explore the significant roles they have played in the world’s material culture.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £179.00 Senior fee £143.00 Concession £116.00
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